When we think of expensive watch brands, names such as Rolex, Omega, and other well-known brands spring to mind.
For those of us who just won the lottery, we could go out and purchase (when we’re spending around a million dollars, we don’t buy, we purchase) We could purchase a watch from the prestigious house of Blancpain for $800,000. Hublot offers a model for a million bucks. But that’s not the upper limit. Not by a long shot!
A watch brand that the late Montgomery Ward used to sell is Patek Philippe and they have a watch now that goes for well over a million dollars. It’s called a tourbillon (meaning whirlwind in French).
That means that on a set schedule, the entire innards of the watch make a turn. This is supposed to keep everything in better balance and make the watch run more efficiently.
Expert opinion doesn’t really think this if of much use, but it makes a good excuse for raising the price.
A watch is a watch. These days, quartz watches are about as accurate as a watch can get. They’re all connected to a central point via radio waves where a central atomic clock keeps everything running smoothly. The insides are very simple and cheap to produce too.
The really fine super expensive watch brands are a different story. There are several factors here that raise the price.
First, a fine watch is made from hundreds of tiny, carefully made pieces that have to be assembled. It’s a wonder the watchmakers don’t go blind at an early age because of the fine technical skill involved in putting a fine watch together.
Even a simple watch can be a challenge. What we mean by that is that it just tells us what time it is. But there is a complication. A complication watch may tell us the day and date, have an alarm to tell us it’s time to do something important, be a stopwatch, and so on.
And then, of course, there’s the matter of case and decoration. A watch can be made of cheap plastic. A better watch can be made of any material such as silver, gold, platinum, good old stainless steel and even unheard of materials like the Louis Moinet watch case crafted from a bit of a meteorite from the moon. This meteorite is thousands of years old, so we can’t expect to buy one of these watches at Walmart. You could snap one up if you have close to five million dollars to toss around.
Then for those of us who know no limits, we could buy a Hublot encrusted with beautiful diamonds. It’s going to run about five million too, so the choice may be hard to make. Word is that Beyoncé bought one for her hubby, Jay-Z for his birthday.
But maybe those watches are for rich pikers who don’t know what’s what. A guy like President Trump could probably go out and pay $25,000,000 cash for a Chopard. I don’t know. This baby is so heavily encrusted with different colored diamonds you have to know what you’re doing to find the watch to see if it’s time to leave the party. Well, if some people got it, they spend it.
In the real world where most of us live, it’s going to be hard to come up with a price in the realm of $10,000 for a Rolex, but there are cheaper models. Actually, we could pick up a model for under $4,000.
My Friend The Jeweler
I once befriended an honest jeweler who was also the world’s biggest Rolex fan. He’d even gone to Switzerland to visit the factory and learn all about Rolex.
He told me in confidence that the outside, and the extra money, was an ego thing.
He swore that all the watches, from the most expensive to the cheapest, had the identical same works inside.
By the way, these watches are called chronometers, meaning they’ve undergone a variety of stress tests to make sure that like postal workers, neither heat nor cold, etc.
Omega is another great brand that runs neck and neck with Rolex. Both brands have their serious fans, but Omega can capitalize on the fact that so far it’s the only watch to go to the moon.
There are many other great watch brands out there and mostly it’s a matter of taste. When you get up to four and five thousand dollars and go even higher, you know you’re getting a fine piece of workmanship. You’re not only getting the prestige of having a valuable timepiece, but you’re making a statement.
The choice is yours. Just whip out that charge card and Charge!